I presented Twitter: ego boosting echo chamber or learning tool? at the #DRHA2015 conference today at DCU Slides are online and available on slideshare
I love getting interesting questions, and I am grateful to the person who asked ‘how can I make a claim that people are learning professionally from Twitter’, What have I done, in my research, to separate the learning that professionals engage in informally from other learning opportunities for example conversations they have, conferences attended.
My answer is that I am not making a claim that Twitter is the sole learning opportunities that they engage in, but I have analysed the activities that they demonstrate on Twitter and structured interviews with participants about how these activities influence learning.
On initial analysis of Twitter data, I was very sceptical that any ‘deep’ learning was taking place. However participants have different definitions and philosophies of learning, and I need to respect their views and current views on learning. For my participants, while they all use Twitter in different ways, some are profoundly more socially engaged on the network than others, they all assert that it is a platform that plays a part in their professional learning.
And to answer the question above – I can’t separate opportunities of professional learning, and I am not claiming that informal learning only happens on Twitter , but I am trying to paint a picture, through a descriptive case study, of what is happening for this group of professionals that use Twitter.
Of course certain reasons and factors exist as to why and how they engage in Twitter, and these are the outcomes of the research….. this is what I am trying to flesh out a bit more in draft 2 of my dissertation.